A Sheep Update

There is slow progress being made on my sheep progress. But some progress is better than no progress!

It’s hard to believe that three weeks have already flown by and it is time for another SAL update! What happened to January?!!

The last time I updated you with the sheep blanket, this is where I was at with it:

Working a sheep for a baby blanket with lots of French knots!

I was having a couple of problems.

Firstly – thread! I had run out of the thread I was using, and it is now very difficult to order that particular thread. One shop I approached has actually said that despite it being a beautiful thread, they have made the decision to stop stocking it due to the problems they have supplying it. So I suspect it might be another thread that will eventually be no more.

The second problem is that rather marked difference in my stitching before and after I started at the RSN! My French Knots are now so much neater and consistent! A number of you were very helpful with your suggestions, and I have attempted to work my ‘new’ French knots into the ‘old’ French knots to blend it all a little better. I’m not sure it has made any difference, but I am trying to do something so the poor sheep isn’t marked in such a way! My darling husband thinks I’m being over critical and doesn’t understand what I’m talking about, so maybe it’s something only fellow ‘stitchers’ will see.

With the thread problem, I have found in my ‘stash’ a thread by Gumnut Yarns which I am using as a substitute. It is a little thicker than a single strand of the Gloriana thread I initially had, and it is slightly ‘fluffier’ as well, but it is the best I had on hand. It is still a beautiful thread to touch and use, so I am making do with it! And I’m telling myself that it is a sheep – and sheep’s wool isn’t ‘even’ all over! Maybe she just sits on that side more regularly.

And after three weeks ‘progress’ (used very lightly here, as I’m not sure much progress has been made at all), this is now what the mummy sheep looks like.

Using French Knots to achieve a sheep's wool effect on a baby blanket. Stitched by Catherine of Hillview Embroidery

I’m finding that I am very easily ‘distracted’ when all I am doing is French knot, after French knot, after French knot. I seem to stitch a couple of thread lengths, then see what’s happening on the news or Facebook or something. I even managed to cut one of the dog’s toenails yesterday during my procrastination stage! This may seem insignificant, but trust me, the little terror is really bad at being able to squirm away when those clippers come out!

I’m thinking that I’m now almost close enough to the finish of this sheep’s French knots that I will be able to spice things up with a face and legs and the horns (so it wouldn’t really be a mummy sheep then would it!). I might wait till the end before I put the horns in, just in case I decide not to put them in.

The other thing I have noticed is again thread related. Despite using the same thread colour as the main thread, there must either be some dye-lot changes ever so slightly, or perhaps it is again my stitching of French Knots that has done it, but there is a greenish tinge to these new French knots. The thread ‘looks’ the same colour – but something is definitely different! Again, there is not much I can do about it, and I’m just going to have to go with it. But I think it is always going to bother me slightly….

Do make sure you check out what everyone else has been working on! There are some beautiful pieces being created here! If  you are interested in knowing more about this SAL, do make sure you head over to Avis’ blog, and get in touch with her.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaSusan, Kathy MargaretCindyHelenStephLinda

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42 thoughts on “A Sheep Update”

    1. Yes, I think this is enough French knots for even the most avid of fans! It is nice to be able to see my stitching improve with them, even if it is to the detriment of the poor sheep!

  1. I was thinking about those horns….this sheep looks pregnant, so I wanted to find out which female sheep have horns, and Icelandic ewes do…now who’s distracted?!!? and, after spending the last week with raw sheep wool, I can tell you the variation on one sheep is astounding, so keep those French knots coming, they will be quite realistic in the end, grass stains even, people will be asking how you managed to do that!

    1. Thank you for that information on sheep! I hadn’t thought to look it up to that level of detail! I’m definitely going with grass stains… maybe next time this mummy sheep will be finished, stains and all!

  2. That looks like good progress to me! Especially if you know how time consuming they can be. Yes, if you need a little variation, you could definitely stray from the knots and add the legs or eyes…I find myself doing this with projects too 🙂 Looking great, can’t wait to see more!

    1. Trust me, I think I’m doing well to minimise the procrastination as much as I have! I’m assuming eventually it will get ‘close’ to being finished and I will change pace!

  3. I’m still in awe of all those French knots lol. We’re all cheering you along, and Mummy sheep will have her full coat, complete with grass stains, and all ^^

  4. I know what you mean about getting easily distracted lol That happens to me often when I have to do a lot of french knots, eyelets,… It’s not the stitch itself, its the fact that they are never ending

  5. That is a lot of French knots. I think it looks beautiful, you did a great job blending the old and new knots and the different threads. As you said sheep’s wool isn’t perfect, but yours is

  6. Dyelots do change slightly, and sometimes it can make a big difference, sometimes not. That’s why knitters try always to buy the same dyelot of a colour for any project, even if that means overbuying and having extra.
    But truly, I don’t think in this case it is a problem. I can’t see any difference that I couldn’t as easily ascribe to the photography.

    1. I will definitely keep it in mind for the future! I can’t knit to save myself so haven’t had to deal with these things before. I’m still going with grass stains ? mg husband is convinced I’m going mad about these things so maybe he is right!

  7. Wow! That looks like a lot of work; I love how uniform it all is. Thanks for sharing with us at Together on Tuesdays.

  8. I love the tiny little beads! You must have wonderful patience to do this 🙂 I really appreciate you linking up at Together on Tuesdays 🙂

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Catherine at Hillview Embroidery

Thanks so much for visiting today! I’m Catherine, and it’s great to have you here. You will find here lots of information about my projects and designs, what worked, what didn’t, what I enjoyed, what I didn’t!

With a Certificate in Technical Hand Embroidery from the RSN, I strive to complete each piece to a high degree of technical excellence. But I also like to stretch the ‘rules’ and explore my own methods and techniques!

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Join my community to receive all the latest news, be the first to know about special offers and releases in my shop, and some general embroidery chat in a monthly (ish!) newsletter. I’d love to see you there!

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